Lately I’ve taken to sleeping with a quilt under my striped comforter. It’s the quilt that Grandma made for me and my husband for our wedding. I’m not sure when I started doing it, it’s been at least a month.
It may have been around the time when my parents went crazy. Or when they came down to visit and mom cried about Grandma and my aunt dying.
She told this sad story about how she was going through her things in her kitchen, as she packed everything up before they sold the house. And she found her ceramic spoon rest, hand painted white and brown, labeled:
Painted while my Mom worked in my Grandma and Aunt’s ceramic shop 25 years ago. And she found it there, hidden among old pots and pans and it hit her. Like a ton of bricks. My Mom and sister are dead. And she cried then. And she burst into tears as she told us at my kitchen table.
“Did you keep it?” I asked
I really don’t understand my mom these days.
And I know she’s never been as sentimental as I have when it comes to objects or memorabilia or pictures. And maybe she just didn’t want the reminder of them being gone.
So I have this quilt over top of me right now. And it’s comfort. And sadness. Hard work. Love. Everything that we live and breath every day. And even though Grandma is gone, she still hugs me at night and a piece of her is in this blanket. She tied the ties that keep it together and stitched and pieced the squares. She made it blue because I love blue. With all the chaos that is my family and is my brain this year, there are some things that are constant and comfort. Something magically transforming and grounding like a quilt. Basic yet complex, beautiful, thoughtful, patterned and planned. Lately I’ve just soaked it in. It is constant. In my sea of inconsistency.
The other day I had folded it and left it on top of the comforter. My daughter and I were laying on the bed, reading or listening to music or something. And m climbs into the folded rectangle and she says “I’m on a boat”.
Yes, you are. You are on a boat. Way to use your imagination. I said.
And I laid back and watched her play boat on my quilt. Then she opened it and climbed in. “I’m sleeping. Tuck me in.”
Yes sweet girl.
It feels fitting that I made Grandma a quilt before she died. That I got to bring it to her and put it over her lap. Kiss her cheek and stroke her hair. Something comforting in a quilt being shared, made for someone you love. To communicate something that you can’t always say or always be around to repeat.
I love you.
I’m not sure where my quilt ended up after she died. Maybe Grandpa has it. Maybe one of the aunts.
But I have the one she made for me and here it will stay, on my bed, for a while. Until it is time to display it, or hang it, or pack it up for a season. And then one day I will pull it out again and remember.